“Mind if we go down Quail Trail?” one of the Geezer’s friends asked as we took our morning stroll. Bob, a human, and Lucy, my cocker spaniel buddy, were accompanying us on the AM constitutional the Geezer and I take daily. It was unusual for that particular gentleman to select Quail Trail as part of his morning walk. One side of road was densely wooded and housed a large number of snakes, something that sparked unreasoning fear in him.
I was sure it would evoke a question from the Geezer, which it did. “Aaaa, Bob, you sure about that? This warm weather has the snakes active and crawling.”
“Absolutely!” Bob was staring at a couple approaching us on the normal route we took each morning. “I want to avoid Madelyn and Mark. Those assholes drive me crazy!”
The Geezer just grinned. I spoke to Lucy in Doganese, “What’s the story on him?” I twitched my head toward Lucy’s human.
“Politics,” she snarled.
That explained it to me. The eight-letter word seemed to make idiots of other-wise rational humans. Not that many humans are thinkers under any condition. The species is afflicted with all sorts of mental inadequacies.
Bob tugged on Lucy’s leash, heading us toward black snake city. Yep, we made the turn down Quail Trail.
“Didn’t Bob and Mark used to like each other?” I asked. “I know they’d fish and go to football games together at one time.”
“Used to is the operative statement,” Lucy woofed. “It started before the 2008 election. It’s gotten worse and worse. My human is a Lie-bore-ral. That Mark person is a Con-stern-native. They never even used to talk about politics. Now, that’s all they do. No, not talk; shout.”
“That’s too bad.”
Lucy shook her head like she would if she had ear mites. “I know what causes it; it’s TV. And radio. They have all these political gurus on shows that specialize in making one side mad at the other. Bob repeats what he hears from Mathews, Madow, Marshall, and Maher. Mark quotes Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, and Levine. All they have to do is mention one of those names and it’s like waving a red cape at a bull, or forcing a teenager to listen to Guy Lombardo music, or giving one of us a rubber steak for supper.
“Yep, I’ve seen it at my house. The Geezer actually threw a towel at the TV one time,” I said.
“Oh, is the Geezer a Lie-bore-ral or a Con-stern-native?”
“I have no idea,” I said, lying as hard as I could. Even a canine with a lot less dog-sense than I possess knows not to stick his or her tongue in that mouse trap.
About that time we’d walked a hundred yard down the road. A gentle breeze carried the fragrance of Sneaky B to the receptors in my nose. Sneaky B is a large black snake, a full five foot in length, an inch-and-a-half wide, with a cranky personality. My nostrils told me he was nestled in the weeds growing on the side of the road.
An evil idea hatched in my sometimes devious mind. I stretched my leash out as far as it would go, herded Sneaky B toward the road, and gave one loud bark to send him slithering onto the pavement…right in front of Bob.
“Oh, shit!” Bob hopped back, jerking poor Lucy around as though she was a rag doll. He took a couple of running steps then froze and cursed again, this time using a long string of vile human incivilities. Lucy was giggling between gasps for air that the snatching of her collar had caused.
I was laughing too, but at Lucy and her human. They were a funny sight. What I couldn’t figure out, was what Lucy thought was funny, when she should have been mad. I asked, “Hey, why are you laughing? You ought to be pissed at Bob.”
Lucy said slyly, “Oh, he’s pissed or pooped enough for both of us. Look at his shorts.”
The light tan color of his Bermudas was turning a much darker shade in the crotch area. I asked, “Did he?”
“He sure did,” Lucy confirmed.
I shook my head and watched Sneaky B slide back into the weeds at the side of the road. As the snake passed, he hissed, “What’s his problem?”
“He’s been feasting on too much politics. It’ll give humans problems directly or indirectly every time.”